tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN June 16, 2010 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT
of congress have tried to make it clear to the white house that the united states should stand with our allies, israel and make it clear to israel, to america and the rest of the world that israel has the absolute right to defend itself in this situation and support the blockade and support their actions of the flo tilla. this should be clear to all concerned throughout the world, especially hamas and hezbollah, and that's just the way it is. the speaker pro tempore: are there any members seeking one-minute speeches? for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? mr. lungren: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. lungren: there is discussion about whether we're going to bring up the disclose act in the rules committee or on the floor this week. and the reason is the special exemption has been to just a
select number of groups. starting with the national rifle association. but also not including the gun owners of america including the humane society but not including other agricultural groups in america. in other words, we're saying that free speech's free for some but not all. and as i looked at this exemption that's been given, you have to have over a million members, you have to have members in all 50 states, you have to existed for more than 10 years. it's obvious we've now gone from too big to fail to too big to file. in other words, if you got enough juice here you're not going to be included. but if you do you're going to be excluded and you're going to be allowed in this election period to fully -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. lungren: first amendment rights. that's not what the constitution's all about. the speaker pro tempore: for
what purpose does the gentlewoman from ohio rise? >> thank you, madam speaker. i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. kaptur: i want to talk about the tornadoes that ravaged western ohio june 5 and 6 and it prematurely took the lives of six people. we're talking about fulton county, adjacent counties, madison walters has been tragically orphaned while her family, mary and ryan, were killed. we remember others. over 100 million dollars of estimated damage occurred. lake high school was leveled. so many businesses, homes, farms affected. while this is a story of pain, it is a story of hope while waves of thousands of
volunteers have come to try to help and assist those facing such destruction. i would like to submit two articles for the record that detail examples of this compassion and it shows to us again the signs of a great nation that binds together a neighbor helping neighbor. i'd urge the administration in the strongest manner possible to declare our region a federal disaster area so necessary aid can flow to those whose lives have been so dramatically affected in a region already suffering economic recession. madam speaker, i yield back my remaining time. the speaker pro tempore: are there further requests for one minutes? for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana rise? >> madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent -- i was really disappointed because instead of really addressing the problem of the gulf spill, he was once again talking about
a government moved to take over part of our country. mr. burton: we have seen the government move to take over a large part of the -- or control of the auto industry, the financial industry. we've seen the government force through the administration forced through the health care bill where the vast majority of americans don't want. last night, instead of really focusing on dealing with the problem in the gulf that's going to cost maybe 150,000 jobs and make us more dependent on foreign oil, what the president did, he started talking about the cap and trade bill which will raise taxes on energy production and every family in america will suffer to the state of the union of $3,000 or $4,000. this is the time, mr. president, if i were talking to him, to deal with the problem in the gulf instead of taking more of the private sector and raising our taxes. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise?
>> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. rangel: thank you, madam speaker. i didn't intend to talk but i just wondered if my colleague was listening to the same president, a president who i thought was responding to all americans when he said that the government has a responsibility to make certain that the private sector upholds their commitment to people, to make certain that they do what i would hope that you would want. we have to get away from this whole idea that government's bad. ask anybody that has medicaid and medicare. and this president wanted americans to know that we'll never forget those people in louisiana. the whole idea of cleaning the atmosphere and making this planet a better place to live, maybe that's your way of thinking. but believe me, it's not for democrats. it's for democrats, republicans and the civilized world to understand that we ought to
prepare to make this a better planet than the one in which people have destroyed it. i just hope we check and see who you were listening to last night because i really thought it was exciting, invigorating and gave us a lot of comfort that the president really cared. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leave of absence requested for mr. davis of illinois for today. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the request is granted. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. poe: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that today following legislative business and any special orders heretofore entered into the following members may be permitted to address the house, revise and extend their remarks and include therein extraneous material. myself, mr. poe, for june 23. mr. jones for june 23.
mr. wolf for today and june 17. mr. smith from new jersey for today. ms. ros-lehtinen for today. mr. moran for june 21, 22 and 23. and mr. lungren from california for today. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california rise? ms. woolsey: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that today following legislative business and any special orders heretofore entered into the following members may be permitted to address the house for five minutes, to revise and extend their remarks, and include therein extraneous material. ms. woolsey, california. ms. kaptur, ohio. mr. defazio, oregon. mr. klein, florida. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, and under a previous order of the house, the following members are recognized for five minutes
each. ms. woolsey of california. the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. woolsey: madam speaker, the national security strategy released by the white house late last month has plenty to recommend. this administration on paper and in its rhetoric and proclamations clearly has a broader view beyond the use of military force of how to keep americans safe. the strategy put the premium on diplomacy and multilateral cooperation askey tools towards advancing -- as key tools towards advancing our security interests. it reduces dependence on foreign oil. it recognizes the threat within a national security context of global climate change. it expresses the commitment to nuclear nonproliferation and pledges support for fledgling democracies. it includes under national
security human rights, global health and development aid. madam speaker, it even emphasizes the important national security implications of investing in education and human capital right here at home. frankly, sounds a lot like the smart security platform that i have' been advocating for the last several years. i'm glad that the folks at the other end of pennsylvania avenue are getting there also. and yet, madam speaker, i can't reconcile all of those promising ideas with the ongoing prosecution of two wars which are bankrupting our country morally and fiscally without reducing terrorism threats or contributing to our national security. the situation on the ground in afghanistan remains very ten with us while americans, -- tenuous while americans, other nato forces continue to shed blood, insurgents and militants
continue to thrive. as we prepare to move on the taliban's home base of kandahar, all evidence indicates that we weren't successful at the more modest task of driving them out of marjah this very winter. besides, according to general mcchrystal, the kandahar offensive isn't even ready to start on time. at the same moment, we have an unreliable partner in president karzai. a partner who has now dismissed two of his top aides who have the best working relationship with the united states. and general petraeus is on capitol hill this week to tell the armed services committee that the last 15 to 18 months have been about installing the input in afghanistan and that now finally we are ready to reap some output. well, with all due respect,
madam speaker, and respect to the general, we're all pleased that he's fine after briefly passing out in the senate hearing room earlier this week, but in all due respect, i think the american people feel as though they've been providing inputs for more than 8 1/2 years now. it's particularly difficult to accept this explanation when we've seen $275 billion fly out of the federal treasury to pay for inputs in afghanistan. it's long past time when we can exexpect to see results or just -- expect to see results or outputs. we need to reverse the strategy 180 degrees. the outputs will come when and only when our afghanistan policy actually as here's to
the core principles offered in the administration's national security strategy. so my urgent plea to the white house is to embrace its own advice. if they are serious about a new approach defending and protecting america, let's not wait until july, 2011. bring our troops home now. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? mr. arcuri: i send to the desk a privileged report from the committee on rules for filing under the rule. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title. the clerk: reporttto accompany house resolution 1448, resolution providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 5297, to to create the small business lending fund program to direct the secretary of the treasury to make capital investments in eligible institutions in order to increase the availability of credit for small businesses, and for other purposes.
the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. mr. moran of kansas. mr. poe: madam speaker, i request permission to take mr. moran's time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. poe: thank you, madam speaker. when the deepwater horizon oil rig exploded in the gulf of mexico, there was no plan to handle that disaster. the federal government was missing in action. now, the feds have a moratorium on deep water offshore drilling. the administration plan, based upon president obama's speech last night, can be summed up quite well in "the los angeles times," and i quote, "obama's speech: there's a pipe spewing gobs of oil in the gulf so let's build more windmills." yes, madam speaker, that seems to be the plan of the administration, close down deep water drilling and maybe build
windmills. why would we shut down this industry in the gulf of mexico and what is the purpose of this plan? the moratorium is preventing drilling in the gulf of mexico for the next six months or even longer. when we have a plane crash, madam speaker, when people die, and that's a horrible thing, we don't close down the entire airline industry for six months. that wouldn't make sense. but shutting down the offshore drilling for six months or more is going to be the second disaster in the gulf of mexico. and it's expanding the economic destruction caused by this explosion and this oil spill. it will put 50,000 people or more out of work in the entire gulf region. it affects my state of texas and louisiana and mississippi the most. it's interesting. although the oil spill affects louisiana and mississippi, alabama, these are the states, along with texas, who want to continue deep water drilling because they know it's necessary for jobs, the economy
and making sure that america is independent of foreign oil. what is the reason for putting these workers out of business? why has the federal government seen fit to eliminate these jobs? actions have consequences, and in this case inaction also has its consequences. 17% of the nation's domestic crude oil comes from deep water drilling in the gulf of mexico. now where is the country to obtain energy for the loss of this oil? there is no plan. no answer from the administration about this question. a six-month moratorium will in effect send these expensive rigs to brazil and indonesia. it will cause about $500,000 a day to operate one of these deep water offshore drilling rigs. these rigs are not going to sit there and wait for the federal government to make a decision. and just like what happened in the 1970's and 1980's with the american manufacturing industry when it left america, it has
never returned. and these oil rigs in the deet water, when -- deep water when they leave american waters they will not return ever. they will find some other safe haven to drill for crude oil. the loss of our domestic source of oil in the gulf of mexico will make us further dependent on foreign oil. it means the united states will now have to import more oil from countries that don't like us, like the middle east, like those good friends in venezuela. it will increase the cost to all americans and that will increase tanker traffic bringing oil through the gulf of mexico. there is a greater risk from leakage of oil tankers than there is from any leakage of an offshore rig but we will have to bring in at least 300 more tankers to make up the 17% difference and those tankers of course will bring foreign oil not american oil to the united states. we need to tap our own domestic sources of oil. it took 37 days for there to be
an attempt to have the top kill procedure. why did it take so long to make this decision? we're still looking for the answer to that question. the majority of the pollution, madam speaker, is not the result of the explosion itself, but the delay in handling the explosion and the containment thereof. in other words, there was no plan to contain the oil for at least 37 days and that -- then it was too late to try to contain the oil near the rig. now the government is overreacting by saying, our solution to the explosion to the containment -- explosion, to the containment, to the pollution is, stop deep water drilling, kill american jobs, kill the american energy industry. and that will have a disastrous effect on our country. we do need a plan for future disasters, to include who's in charge of this leak, who's in charge of the containment, who's in charge of the cleanup. and the only plan we have today is to shut down deep water
drilling. and now the administration is using this as a political employ to implement more taxes -- ploy to implement more taxes on the american industry, that is passed on to the american citizen. so, a new crippling natural energy tax will result in regulations on carbon dioxide emissions, the very substance we as husmes exhale -- humans exhale. it's unfortunate that the moratorium on drilling has already caused devastating economy losses in the gulf of mexico, especially my state. so we would ask that the government, the federal government rescind its ban and allow deep water drilling in a safe manner. and i yield back the balance of my time. and that's just the way it is.
forced to settle a class action lawsuit in los angeles for over half a million dollars. and the financial times reports that the better business bureau haa listed almost 800 complaints on litten. worse, litten has put up only 29% of their loans into permanent modifications, leaving the rest of the consumers who tried to get one trying to get money to make up the difference they owe and then they will owe the accrued late fees. goldman sachs says little about this, of course. this is business as usual for them. but bad business as usual, it appears. however, the customers ofly then are not the only ones receiving poor services from goldman sachs. the financial crisis inquiry commission created by congress is getting similar treatment. despite saying that they will cooperate fully, goldman sachs is not cooperating fully with the financial crisis inquiry commission. in factor, a subpoena had to be issued last week to get
documents from goldman sachs. "the new york times" quotes the the chairman of the commission as saying the following, goldman sachs is not in our view been cooperative with our requests for information or forth coming with respect to documents, information or interviews. should that surprise any of us? it certainly shows that goldman sachs does not respect the law, nor the congress, nor the executive branch, nor the american citizens whose hard earned dollars have pored into goldman, leading to record profits and huge bonuses and no results for ordinary people. worse it makes one wonder what goldman sachs has to hide. otherwise why send irrelevant information to the commission and with hold other information? yet goldman continues to drag its feet in responding and the commission had to subpoena. goldman sachs could and should do better. they could lead wall street in corporate citizenship. we now know that goldman sachs could easily reduce the principle on every loan, write
up all the late fees and give 320,000 citizens some relief from the housing crisis that goldman, along with the rest of wall street's biggest investment banks, or i should say speculators, had in creating. how much do you want to bet that they won't? anyone want to hedge a bet with a credit default swap or a synthetic collateralized debt obligation? i bet goldman would be willing to sell you one. but you know? what they're really doing is they're trying to send their lobbyists to try to meet with members of the commission that he heads. "the new york times" reports that lobbyists representing goldman in washington try to arrange one-on-one meetings with a handle of those commissioners including him but he declined to meet with them. congratulations, guess what? they do the same thing to the members of congress, they wait for us in the hallways, they get on the elevators with us if we refuse to meet with them.
they pay their lobbyists here lots of money. so you keep doing what you're doing, you keep digging. i'm glad you declined to meet with them. and, you know, according to the same people who spoke with the "the new york times," many of them said they spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the commission's inner workings. so i'm glad to see that there are some americans out there who are trying to get to the truth, trying to get to the heart of the matter, trying to get justice for the american people in the housing market where the deck is so strongly stacked against ordinary citizens wwo should hold one piece of paper they call their mortgage and yet the note for that is locked up somewhere upstream, held on wall street or one of its subsidiaries and most americans who are getting thrown out of their houses across this country and being forcibly removed don't even have enough legal advice to know that they should be asking the judge to produce the
original note in those proceedings, not a xeroxed copy. american people, get yourselves legal assistance back home from your fair housing agencies, your counseling agencies. you have a right to your own mortgage and no one should take it away from you if you have a leg to stand on and the judge should be on your side if you ask for that original note. thank you, madam speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina, mr. jones. for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana rise? mr. burton: i ask for his time. i don't think he's here tonight. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. burton: madam speaker, my good friend, congressman poe of texas, just a few minutes ago talked about the oil spill down in the gulf and he referred to the action or inaction of the administration in dealing with it. he quoted something from the
"l.a. times" that i thought was kind of interesting and a little humorous, that my colleagues liked that might like to hear genl. he quotes the "l.a. times" as saying, obama's speech, there's a pipe spewing a ga zillion gobs of oil into the gulf, so let's build more wind mills. now, i know that sound as little humorous, madam speaker, but that sounded like what the president's speech was all about last night. there was no real solutions in dealing with the problem. everybody's concerned about it, everybody feels empathy and sympathy for the people in the gulf, the thousands of people who have lost their jobs and who are out of work, the environmental problem that's been created, but what people want is they want a solution to the problem. it has now been 57 days, 57 days since this tragedy occurred. and what did the president do? he has suspended oil drilling in the gulf for six months. now, that's going to result in as many as 150,000 people losing
their jobs and for the oil people that work on those out in the gulf, that's 150,000 jobs phat it not only affects them, it affects almost six times that number of people who have ancillary jobs, that work in the restaurants, that work on the beaches down there, all the things that are going on down in the gulf. so you're looking at the potential of half a million to a million jobs being affected adversely because we haven't dealt with the problem. there have been other countries right after the spill took place that offered to send skimmers, ships over here to help skim up the oil on the surface of the ocean. we have had other countries that offered other help and it's all been turned down. the jones act should have been suspended, but it was not suspended and as a result the oil crisis, the spill goes on and on and on. and it's extremely important that we address the problem as quickly as possible.
i'm not an engineer. i don't know what the answer is. but today we had a meeting with people who had talked to the b.p. oil company and had talked to all other oil engineers and there are things that are going on right now that they believe will address the problem, hopefully in the next two or three or four weeks or at least another month or month and a half. but at least they're moving on the problem now, with auxiliary wells being drilled down into the bottom of the gulf, to choke off the spill. all i'd like to say tonight in addition to what's already been said is that we have a tragedy down here that should not be compounded by what the problem is advocated and that was, he advocated last night that we come up with an energy bill, i.e. the cap and trade bill. and the cap and trade tax bill will tax all energy producers that emit co-2 emissions into the atmosphere. and it translated, that means that companies around the this country will have to pay hundreds of thousands and maybe
millions of dollars more for their utility bills which will be passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices and the average family's going to be affected to the tune of about $3,000 to $4,000 a year if cap and tax is passed. this is a time to deal with the crisis in the gulf, not a time to be talking about the cap and tax bill which is going to cost jobs at a time when we need to create jobs. the unemployment rate in this country is at 10% or very close to it and if you include the people who are unemployed and looking for work, who are no longer counted, we're lookinging at 13%, 14%, 15% that are unemployed. so we need to address the economic problems and we need to be dealing with that in a positive way and not going on with more taxes and more spending as the administration has talked about. what i'd love to see if i had my brothers right now, madam speaker, is somebody like ronald reagan who could come in and cut taxes and cut spending and stimulate economic growth like
he did and as a result we had 20 years of economic growth. right now what we're looking at is more unemployment, more jobs and now they're talking about, because of the way the gulf is being handled, the possibility of more double-digit unemployment. this is something that we can't tolerate right now. we need to be positive, we need to move ahead and the president is not moving in that direction. and a perfect commentary is what was in the "los angeles times," not a conservative newspaper. you heard liberal commentators all across the country last night saying the president is not addressing the problem. and he's way late in the first place and in the second place and in the third place. and so i just like to end by saying once again, i think the "los angeles times" was right on the money when they said obama speech, there's a pipe spills a billion gobs of oil in the gulf and he's talking about more taxing, more spending and more
wind mills. the speaker pro tempore: mr. defazio of oregon. without objection, the gentleman from florida. mr. klein: thank you very much, madam speaker. madam speaker, i rise today to continue my regular realtime updates to my south florida constituents on the b.p. oil spill in the gulf of mexico. i believe it's my responsibility to keep the homeowners, businesses along the 75 miles of my coastline in my district fully informed so they can be prepared for all possibilities. first thing's first, obviously the spill itself has to be capped. i certainly call on b.p. to deploy every possible resource, every expert, every technology, every available opportunity to plug this hole. this is not about a question of whether the federal government's going to step in and come with a magic silver
bullet. everyone niece to be involved. and it means scientists and geologists and people from around the world to figure this out. the permit probably shouldn't have been issued in the first place but we need to get it done. i had the opportunity a keek or so ago to join some noaa researchers on a nine-hour mission in the p-3 plain over the gulf to really understand what was going on, what the currents were going. obviously from the southeast florida side we're concerned about the current which may bring it through the florida straits and up through the gulf stream. we saw it through the research that's done, there is this possibility, of course, and the sooner we can cap the oil the better. we all know that if this oil does come to the east side, east side of florida as it has the panhandle it will impact florida homeowners, businesses and not to mention the environment for years to come. we need to take whatever action
to finish that job. the only thing i will say to my constituents, and obviously this is a national issue, no one should suffer because of b.p.'s recklessness and taxpayers cannot and will not be stuck with footing even a dime for the bill for this debacle. b.p. has to be fully responsible for the full costs of plugging the leak, cleaning up the spill and making every person, every business who is harmed whole again. i appreciate the fact that today there was discussion about $20 billion being put in escrow that can be drawn down upon for businesses and local groups that have to clean up this mess to pay for it. but this may play out for a generation. let me repeat myself. b.p. is responsible for the full cost down to the last dime. in florida we have always been concerned about offshore drilling because we have a multibillion dollar tourism industry that demands our pristine beaches, waters and coral reefs.
restaurant owners in places like deerfield beach, every entrepreneur with a small souvenir shop or a fishing charter is concerned. and they're holding their breath as to whether this oil spill will affect them, affect their businesses, their jobs and their livelihood. i have seen the fear on their faces and meeting with them has only strengthen my resolve to make sure we don't leave our children with this terrible fate. we cannot let another generation pass without making a serious move to not only clean up this mess but to make sure that we have a plan in place for other types of energy. you know, the issue with deep water drilling is not just a question. of course we need more energy and we need more oil, but do it in places where there's no plan in place to clean it up, for b.p. or anybody else is unacceptable. so i think this is also an opportunity, not only to clean this up and deal with this issue, but also to recognize this is a moment in time that should be a put on the moon a
man or the manhattan project. yes, we can have oil. there's a mountain of natural gas. but why not more solar? i live in a place called the sunshine state. why are we not having the jobs and testing technology for the rest of the world and whether it's hydrogen? we should use this moment to also recognize we shouldn't be dependent on fossil fuels. so as we look at this historic disaster, we should also look at this as an opportunity for the future. and i believe that now is the time to bring the best and brightest to clean up this mess, it's also an opportunity to bring our best and brightest minds together to end our dependence on foreign oil over the next 10 years and become a world leader in the kind of clean, affordable alternative energy that will create good jobs right here in the united states. madam speaker, i thank you for the time.
the speaker pro tempore: mr. wolf of virginia. mr. wolf: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. wolf: madam speaker, i rise to discuss a critical issue to american families, job creation. with unemployment still hovering around 10%, this country must focus on new and innovative ways to create jobs in america. i believe we must aggressively and be creative in our approach job creation. that's why i've been urging both the federal government and my home state of virginia to work to repatriate jobs that have gone overseas to bring them back to america. we must launch a systematic program led by the u.s. -- by all the governors of each state to identify companies, american companies that are doing business abroad and incentivize the repatriation of jobs back to america. this is necessary and feasible. earlier in year "the wall street journal" reported that a major american manufacture,
caterpillar, was considering expanding its manufacturing inside the u.s. rather than overseas. according to the article, the repatriation is gaining momentum, and after a decade of rapid globalization, economists say that companies are seeking -- are seeing disadvantages on offshore production, including shipping costs, complicated logistics and quality issues, political unrest and theft of intellectual property poses additional risk. i applaud on caterpillar's efforts and ask every company should follow its lead. i believe that every american company has a moral obligation to try to create jobs in america. american companies with overseas factories take ample advantage of american law enforcement, the american justice system and countless other resources provided by the american taxpayer. in doing so they have an obligation, a burden to contribute to support american job creation. when american company operating
factories overseas needs law enforcement help, they turn to the f.b.i., not the chinese secret police. when american companies are victims of cyberattacks or intellectual property theft, they turn to the american government for support and assistance, not to the chinese government. who is spying and stealing on them and arresting catholic bishops and protestant pastors. that's why i hope companies will support american jobs. much of this manufacturing is shifted overseas over the last two decades. this trend is fueled primarily by the opening of international markets, cheap labor and affordable shipping. although free trade has yielded significant benefits to our economy and consumers, the u.s. has done a poor job of encouraging domestic manufacturing investment. now is the time for american companies to re-evaluate their business models and return
home. our competitive dollar makes the u.s. an excellent location to export to international markets. rising gas has added to shipping which has helped level the playing field for u.s. producers. we have a highly skilled and efficient work force in the u.s. that is ready to start companies producing at home. finally, i believe the repatriation initiative is important because it focuses the u.s. on competing internationally for these jobs rather than states competing for other states for existing american jobs. instead it will lead to net job growth in the united states. over the last four months i've been encouraging secretary locke to announce a repatriation initiative. as a result, i'll be courage urging the appropriations committee to include language in this year's bill, 2011 commerce, justicee science bill to direct the department to
launch such a initiative, working with the governors of this country. i hope the administration and my colleagues in the congress will embrace this initiative and reach out to large american companies about bringing the jobs home to america. a major repatriation program will allow us to create new jobs, promote u.s. exports and demonstrate that america can still be a highly competitive manufacturer in a global market and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: mr. smith of new jersey. mr. smith: thank you very much, madam speaker. i rise today to call on the president to give israel the unequivocal, robust and vigorous support it deserves. since the may 31 gaza flotilla incident, israel has been under media attack. and even in the past few days, many articles in international newspapers take a grocery anti--israel -- anti-israel
slant. the purpose of the flotilla is to provoke an incident, thereby, to set up an international media campaign against israel. the flotilla is an aggressive attempt to manipulate world opinion and to isolate israel. thankfully it has not worked in the united states where a poll shows that despite the anti-israeli bias of so much media coverage, less than 20% of americans think that the israeli government is to blame for the keths that resulted from the -- deaths that resulted from the incident. madam speaker, the facts of incident were clear within 48 hours and it's high time that our government sent a message, that the united states fully supports israel's action to intercept the flotilla. the administration should emphasize that israel's action was legal, that it was right and that the u.s. stands with israel without any ifs, ands or buts. it's a matter of record that on
may 25 the israeli government offered to offload at its port the humanitarian aid the flotilla carried and to have it -- have the u.n. personnel deliver it to gaza. on that same day, the israeli government also state it had would not permit the flotilla to break its blockade of gaza which is not only legal under international law but i believe it's also just given the rampant maritime arms smuggling, the 7,000 rocket attacks hamas has launched on israel from gaza since 2005, and the unlimited aid that can flow to gaza through proper checkpoints. madam speaker, the turkish group that organized the flotilla has documented ties to hamas, which is recognized by the u.s. department of state as a foreign terrorist organization. radicals with ties to other terrorist groups were aboard the ships. the flotilla launch was marked
by violent, anti-semitic rally. flotilla participants spoke to al-jazeera of martyrdom. it shows hypocrisy of those who would portray the flotilla participants of being peace activists. nothing can be further from the truth. madam speaker, the response by the government was restrained and responsible. israeli troops boarded the troops in the flotilla carrying paintball guns. but when the crew beat them with iron rods, stabbed and lynched them and threw one of them off the deck, they got the order to defend themselves with their sidearms. this, too, is right. every government permits its troops to defend themselves when they are attacked. i call on president obama to give israel our government's full support and to make unmistakeably clear our government's position --
unmistakablely clear our government's position was that they were right. our government must make it perfectly clear that we will never permit an anti-israel media campaign. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: ms. ros-lehtinen of florida. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? mr. lungren: madam speaker, that i might claim the time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. lungren: thank you very much, madam speaker. madam speaker, i take these five minutes to speak on a subject that is of utmost importance but does not regularly get discussed here on the floor and that is the first amendment to the constitution,
that part of it which deals with freedom of speech, that is freedom of political speech. now, obviously the first amendment of the constitution does not merely protect political speech but in the decision by the u.s. supreme court known as citizens united vs. the federal election commission, the supreme court noted that the first amendment has its fullest and most urgent application to speech uttered during a campaign for political office. in other words, they said that if you look at the essence of the first amendment protection it goes first and foremost to political speech. and they said this in laying the premise for the decision that they came to because the supreme court realized that the first amendment's protection
for political speech had been under assault by various pieces of legislation passed by this body. not that it was done for evil purposes or intentionally to undercut the supreme -- the constitution of the united ptates. rather, it was done in a god faith effort to try and deal with political campaigns and the position of money in political campaigns. but the supreme court decided back in the 1970's in that money is speech -- 1970's that money is speech. meaning that the money you have you can use as you see fit to further your speech. you can print pamphlets. you can buy a megaphone. you can buy a radio ad. you can buy a television ad. you can hire somebody to
represent your interest, to appear in an ad for you. in other words, the supreme court recognized that in the way that we communicate often times it takes the use of money to further that communication. so they made a decision at that point in time that by terms of the first amendment you could not stop someone for using their money -- from using their money to express their point of view. then they went to the point of saying, but how does that apply when you are giving money to a candidate? and in those instances the court said that the government might be able to put some restrictions on speech, that is the use of money, but only if it is for the purpose of avoiding corruption of the process. that is the only basis upon which the government can put
some limitations or parameter around political speech. in the citizens united case, they had to decide what do people individually and as associated with others, and the first amendment talks about freedom of association, what do they, what are they allowed to do, permitted to do, protected under the first amendment when they expend funds to express a point of view during a period of time that is close to an election? and that's why the court said that the first amendment freedoms are at their height when the speaker's addressing matters of public policy, politics and governance, and has its fullest and most urgent publication to speech uttered for campaign during political office because that's the point of time when you might have the most influence over your fellow citizens. now, what does this have to do with what we are doing here on
floor? there is a bill that's been introduced called the disclose act, democracy is strength ed by casting light on spending in elections act. and we are led to believe by the majority that all this does is promote disclosure. but yet in fact what it does, under its very terms, is chill political speech. so much so that the national riffle association came out with a large complaint about the bill saying that it would have an undue burden on its operations in expressing itself and intimidate membership. now, some people scoffed at it and said, well, it's the national riffle association talking again. but what happened? we found that the majority listening to the national riffle association has created a specific exemption for that group and others situated. but nor for others. and that is the crux of the question. do we have a situation in which now we say, not only too big to
fail, but for some, too big to file? it is an affront to the first amendment and my hope is that we will not bring this bill to the floor because of all things we should be most protective of the speech of our fellow citizens when they engage in political debate. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, the gentleman from california, mr. garamendi, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. garamendi: madam speaker, i rise today to engage in a colloquy with my colleagues on the democratic side of the aisle who will be along shortly but before i launch into the issue of national security and our dependence on oil, i'd like to just address what my colleague
from california was talking about and give an example of why disclosure's important and to recognize the fact that it was the republican party mantra for nearly 20 years that the solution to campaign finance reform was disclosure. and now apparently they want to stand up and say they don't want disclosure after having for 20 years saying they want disclosure. go figure. the fact of the matter is that in california, an election held just two weeks ago, disclosure under the state laws played a critical role in stopping pacific gas and electric from ripping off the rate payers of california. and mercury insurance company from doing the same for their customers. the california law required disclosure. pg&e spent over $40 million in what i think was blatant false advertising and at the bottom of those ads they had to say, paid
for by pacific gas and electric. similarly with mercury insurance company, the public took one look at that, at those ads, we they -- which they saw repeatedly and said, oh, that's behind it. well i'm a no vote. disclosure works, my republican colleagues. it's what you wanted for more than 20 years and now that you're about to get it, you don't want it? well, i think not. let me go to the subject at hand that we would talk about this evening which is really the issue of national security. for more than 40 years now america has talked about the energy independence. literally breaker -- breaking our addiction to oil. america's addicted to oil. we consume more than 25% of all the world's oil supply yet we have a very small portion of the reserves. we are literally sending overseas $1 billion a day, much of it going to countries that
are actively pouring -- supporting people that don't agree with us and people that are actually, well, perhaps supporting terrorist organizations. certainly international security is dependent upon going after the terrorists and no one's going to do it more aggressively than the obama administration who has increased the antiterrorist activities of this nation far more than during the bush period. but, back to oil. if we doubt for a moment that our nation's security is at risk with the current way in which we produce oil, you only need to take a look at the gulf of mexico. in the last 20 years there have been more than 38 blowouts, none of them as large as what we now see on the deepwater horizon situation, but nonetheless it is in fact a common occurrence,
averaging more than 1 1/2 per year over the last 20 years. so, is it safe? well, not so much. we just heard from our republican colleagues that saying the moratorium imposed by the president is somehow wrong. hello. when two air force jets crashed within a month several years ago, the united states air force did what is called a stand down. they grounded the entire fleet until they found out what was wrong. they corrected the problem and went on their way. that's exactly what president obama has done. he did a standdown of additional drilling in the gulf of mexico because, hey, there's a problem. there's an extraordinary blowout. one that is now exceeding everybody's estimate. and the result -- oil on the beaches, dead birds and,
according to "the wall street journal" today, oil spill delivers recovery setback. specifically, looking at the real estate industry along the gulf coast. and they cite five or six projects here that may be jeopardized because of the oil spill. this is a national security issue in the sense of hhwwe get our oil, in the sense of our addiction to oil and it is time for us to recognize that because we have in the past consumed all of the easy oil, we're now going to the most difficult, most dangerous and the most risky places in the world. certainly the deep water, deepwater horizon, the blowout, perhaps as much as 60 million
barrels a day. that is serious, serious. it's not -- excuse me, 60,000 barrels a day. this is a very serious problem. and it deserves our attention. the president last night spoke to the problem, committed his administration and this nation to everything necessary to clean up and to plug the well. my colleagues on the republican side mentioneddthat just 37 days ago they started the relief. that's not true. they actually started the relief program on the very day of the blowout. it took a while to get it going. and the going to take even longer to get it done. so where are we going to go with this? i've been joined by a couple of my colleagues today and i'd like to seek permission to enter into a colloquy with them, madam speaker. without objection? good. i'll move forward. i'd like to ask my colleague from california, congresswoman
chu, to give us her thoughts on this situation. ms. chu: thank you, congressman garamendi. thank you for bringing this very, very important special order to the floor tonight. i would like to focus for a moment on the oil spill and it's impact on victims. -- its impact on victims. mr. tran doesn't know how he's going to pay his car insurance and he doesn't now how he'll take care of his mortgage but he doesn't know when he'll get in the water and start working again. he's a deck hand on a commercial fishing boat stationed near louisiana. he's part of a close knit community of vietnamese and cambodian shrimpers that the gulf oil spill has hit particularly hard. many of them came to the gulf coast in the 1980's as war refugees from vietnam. they did well. it's estimated that the vietnamese americans earn between 1/3 and 1/2 of all the
fishing vessels in the gulf coast. after katrina, they were one of the first groups to rebuild. but figuring out how to recover from the recent manmade disaster has been difficult. you see, for many of these fishermen, language is a barrier as bottomless as the deep horizon's well. because english isn't essential for fishing, many have never learned it, so they rely on interpreters. it takes 14 words to translate the term disperse ant into vietnamese. and don't even get me started on what to do with acronyms like e.p.a. so not only have these fishermen lost their normal source of work, they've een locked out of the cleanup effort, too. many have even had problems filing basic claims for lost income. these vietnamese fishermen are just one group affected by the challengic gulf oil spill. indeed this spill has devastated lives up and down the gulf
coast. it's the biggest environmental disaster in our nation's history. but congress is working hard to repair the damage that's been done. i've joined in the effort to secure $85 million in emergency funding to assess and respond to damages from the spill. this money improves the federal response and guarantees compensation to out of work fishermen, but we know that's not enough. i'm proud to also sponsor a very, very important bill in the judiciary committee. this bill is called the spill act. it fixes our outdated liability laws and ensures we can hold those who caused this spill accountable for the damage that they've done. but we know that's not enough either. so i've co-sponsored the bill to impose a moratorium on drilling off the western coast of our country. this suspension is a great step forward to ensuring that a disaster like this never happens again. and even then, it's still not
enough. indeed the only solution to this disaster, the only thing that truly makes sense is to finally end this country's addiction to oil. for decades oil companies and lobbyists killed energy reform to keep their profits. for decades our dependence on oil has hurt our economy and put the security of our country and our environmental at risk. for decades we knew that offshore drilling was just a disaster waiting to happen. well, the news is that it has happened and the gulf oil spill shows that it's time to take back control of our energy policies with clean power made right here in america. we'll never be able to undo this spill, as much as we wish it didn't happen, we can't pretend it never did. if we do, kim tran worry being his car and house payments will only be afterthoughts because
his town and countless others like it along the gulf coast will just disappear. but we will not let that happen. join me and make sure that these fishermen, these people, these families haven't suffered in vain and let's make sure we clean up this spill, hold those who caused it accountable and make sure it never happens again. together we'll end our addiction to oil and create a better, cleaner future for our country. mr. gare men tee: representative -- mr. garamendi: representative chu, thank you for your thoughts. that leads to the west coast ocean protection act of 2010. there's a large area that's dependent on the pristine nature of the coast. in addition to that the west coast has a much different
environment than the gulf of mexico. it's down right dangerous out there, high wave, high wind, earthquakes, a lot of other things that would say, that's not a good place to be drilling. i see my colleague from new york here and i know that he, too, along with the residents of new york are terribly interested in what's happening and in our national energy policies and our move away from oil. congressman tonko, if you would, please, join us. mr. tonko: representative garamendi, thank you for bringing us together in this thoughtful way, it's great to join you and representative chu and others who will be participating in this hour of dialogue where we look in a laser-sharp, focused way at this tragic occurrence in the gulf. obviously, i think it's important to recognize the commitment made by the president and his administration to make certain that we do everything we can
possible to make certain that we stay on this case of cleanup and capping. certainly shutting off that leak of that oil well is incredibly important and the cleanup in those gulf states, in that gulf area, that impacts the gulf states, is absolutely essential. to have the president recognize that we have deployed some 30,000 workers that will be in the midst of that activity helping is important, to know that over 5,000 vessels have been solicited and that our national guard numbers, over 17,500 forces out there, making a difference, is important. but let's really look at some of the situation here. i really get concerned and join with some members in this house to advance a correspondence to the b.p. c.e.o., state clearingly, with my colleagues, -- stating clearly, with my colleagues, that their
priorities spoke volumes as to where they rest as a corporation. to have suggested that payments be made to investors be established as a high priority, to suggest that dollars going to marketing, to revamp their image, enhance their image, while we sit there and look for ways to cap this leak, while we continue to make certain that we need resources to clean up the gulf that didn't seem to be a very high priority with this company and so it was, i think, very appropriate for us to respond in very forceful measure to address this strong language in a letter to the organization, to b.p.'s management, and state that what you really need to do is are reprioritize, to make certain that what comes as the most important essential bit of work here, as you invest dollars, and they best ought, as you do that, the priority has got to be to cap that leak to clean up
the gulf to make certain that we make whole the individuals, the states, the communities, that surround that given region to make certain that businesses are allowed to function again. when we think of the impact on agriculture, on tourism, on the seafood industry to name a few, the impact on our ecosystem, on the environment, on the wildlife, it's painful to watch the news accounts of this continuing saga of a tragedy. so their priorities were misplaced and totally insensitive to the needs of people and industries and certainly to wildlife in this given region. i had stated clearly, i had a press conference where we aired this letter, that it was important for them to not be so concerned about their image, but rather deal with the basics. i said, before you shore up your image, clean up our shores. i think it's straightforward and it's easily understood. that's where i would like to
see the priorities. today after pressure from the president and many of us in congress, i think the company has heard the message. they have been given this forceful statement and they are now responding to the pressure by suggesting they are setting up an account that will respond to some of these needs. they are setting up an account that will deal with the compensation fund for oil workers who are out of work because of the ka taths fee. now one can only -- of the catastrophe. one can only imagine what would have been the impact, how much less impacting the outcome would have been, if they'd embraced the same integrity with the technology they should have utilized in drilling. they wanted to go a mile deeper but the impact of the damage without the right discipline and regulation meant hundreds of miles spread from that one
mile deeper, hundreds of miles of impact because of the lack of integrity. so i am here with you this evening in spirit and in voice to say that we need to stay on this dilemma we need to stay on this catastrophe, until all of the essentials are done, the cleanup, the capping, the reform that's essential and making sure the dollars and resources are coming from the source, the source of the pollution, here, in this case, b.p. it's great to join you and our colleagues here this evening. mr. garamendi: thank you very much for once again being eloquent and right on the target on the issue out before us, when you talk about the nature of the spill. this map is a rere-cent one from the u.s. geejee yo logical survey and noaa. if you look at the size of the spill, it is actually, it looks like it's getting about the same size as louisiana itself. of course the gulf coast along here is seriously threatened and the extraordinary wildlife
and habitat of the mississippi delta is at risk and already seriously hurt by it. you mentioned the -- b.p.'s maybe -- maybe, i'm not convinced that b.p. has actually gotten the message that their first task is to clean up. their $50 million p.r. campaign, i've seen some ads. if they'd spent that $50 million on the proper blowout protector and actually had put in the most modern protection at the wellhead and not cut the corners as is becoming increasingly obvious in the drilling techniques and in securing the well itself, they wouldn't have to be spending multibillion dollars cleaning up. they absolutely must put that money into a trust fund. b.p. is not to be trusted to adequately distribute that money to the people who have been harm the president is right, create the trust fund, put an independent party in charge of it, let the money go
to those who have been seriously harmed by this, as well as the wildlife and the damages there. and by the way they ought to pass a bill to increase the liability limit. and i know that bill will be moving through here. i notice that, joining us from -- well, my neighbor is california, congresswoman barbara lee, who, let's see, about two years ago you experienced an oil spill on the shores of your district. representative lee, thank you for joining us. ms. lee: thank you very much. yes, congressman garamendi we did experience a devastating oil spill two years ago. that's why, many of us know from personal experience, and you know from a history of trying to find a way to help our country become energy independent and end this addiction of oil. we've worked on this for many,
many years, i'm pleased you've take then lead in sponsoring a bill which i'm proud to co-sponsor, h.r. 5213, which would really create a ban, mind you. we need more than a moratorium. we need a ban on offshore oil and natural gas drilling from platforms and federal waters, particularly near california, oregon, and washington which your bill addresses. i think what we have seen in the gulf really explains why we're doing this, first of all thorninge west coast, but this needs to be done nationwide. offshore drilling poses too great a risk to our coastal community, economies, and our ecosystem. this has been made painfully clear by the recent british petroleum oil spill disaster in the gulf of mexico. every day, we have seen more and more damage to our gulf coast with really no end in sight.
over the course of weeks, estimates of the damages have risen from, i think it was $14 billion now to $34 billion, who knows how many billion this is going to end up being. as millions of gallons of oil flow into the gulf each day, i can't imagine what this will be like in a few months, let alone in the years to come. over 50,000 claims have been filed by small businesses for economic losses and thousands more workers have lost their jobs. every day, new fishing areas are closed off, new coastline is contaminated and more communities are affected. b.p. must be held accountable and they must pay for this tragedy. the fragile ecosystem which once sustained over 400 species of wildlife are so ravaged that experts cannot even begin to assess the damage. however, they all agree on this -- the long-term health and environmental effects of this spill will plague the region
for generations to come. we cannot continue to put our economy and environment and the health of our children on the line. we must stop the drilling. just a few decades ago, california experienced a similar spill that oil spill was so toxic and ruinous that it led to the creation of the environmental protection agency and the declaration of the first earth day by the santa barbara city council. we understand how devastating these chemicals can be, both to our nation's ecosystem and to our economy. it's time we start making decisions for our future. this is a terrible, tragic wakeup call. we cannot continue to endanger the natural treasures for a paltry reward in the form of a decade or so of oil and natural gas protection. the deep horizon explosion was really not an isolated incident. according to the minerals management service, there were
38 blowouts, mind you, 38, in the gulf of mexico between 1992 and 2006 but just yesterday, the c.e.o. of exxonmobil admitted that when spills happen, we are, and i quote, not well-equipped to handle them. i don't know what they do with the billions of profits they make but if we aren't prepared, we shouldn't be drilling. perhaps the greatest tragedy behind the b.p. oil spill daster is that it really did not need to happen. today, we have the power to learn from history and to chart a new path. in order to safeguard the natural beauty, wildlife, and ocean-based economies of california, oregon, and washington, congressman garamendi's bill really does set the standard. we've got to move forward with a permanent moratorium or permanent ban on offshore oil drilling in federal waters off the west coast. the environmental disaster that
we're witnessing in the gull of is a symptom of a much larger problem that is our perilous dependency, as i said earlier, on dirty fossil fuels. we must work to end that adrix today or really risk sacrificing our environment for the future. the best and most responsible way forward is one in which our coastlines remain free of offshore drilling and the demand for fossil fuels is diminished through the use of renewable energy courses -- sources and the deployment of new energy sources. it is time to take a stand and declare that enough is enough. we must be committed to a cleaner, greener future, and that starts with putting an to end offshore drilling. i think the president is right on point. i think we need to move forward and support congressman garamendi's bill and we need to really recognize that the horrific tragedy that we're seeing today is really a sign
of what could happen tomorrow and use this as a moment, a defining moment to regroup and become clear about our future in terms of our energy independence. thank you again, congressman garamendi, for your leadership. mr. garamendi: thank you, representative lee, and thank you for the work you did dealing with that problem in the san francisco bay when the ship hit the bridge. we had our own little spill over there. i have pulled this pla card up with the pictures of the oil and birds, i can't real -- i didn't realize until you started talking about the escalation in the amount of oil that spilled, my staff put this together about four weeks ago. they said by father's day, it will be the worst still ever. -- the worst spill ever. it was actually the worst spill after about the first three weeks. in any case, we've got a serious problem there. i notice i've been fortunately joined by three representatives
from a wide, diverse part of america on the west coast, in the great metropolitan area of los angeles, congresswoman watson if you would care to join us. ms. watson: yes, i want to thank you, congressman garamendi, for your leadership in california and the leaderssip you're taking here. former lieutenant governor, you know our state so well, and your charts are depicting the problems that not only the gulf coast has, but we've had our disasters as well, and i just want the public to understand, our ommitment, from day one, the obama administration has been committed to containing the damage from b.p. oil spill and extending to the people of the gulf the help they need to confront what is the worst environmental disaster america
has ever faced. . we will fight this as long as it takes. that is a commitment that is made from the top and through every level of government. we will make b.p. pay for the damage that their company has caused our country. and we will do whatever is necessary to help the gulf coast and its people recover from this massive tragedy. this is already been the largest environmental cleanup effort in our country's history. we now have nearly 30,000 personnel who are working across four states to contain and clean up the oil and thousands of ships and other vessels are responding in the gulf.
and the president has authorized the deployment of over 17,000 national guard members along the coast. and because of these response efforts, millions of gallons of oil have already been removed from the water through burning, skimming and other collection methods. over 5.5 million feet of boom have been laid across the water to block and absorb the approaching oil and we have approved the construction of new barrier islands in louisiana to try and stop the oil before it reaches the shore. we're working with the affected states to implement creative approaches to their unique coastlines and we will offer whatever additional resources and assistance they may need. now, the president is leading
and has met with the chairman of b.p. and will inform him and has that he is -- he has set aside whatever resources are required to compensate the workers and business owners who have been harmed as a result of his company's recklessness. this fund will not be controlled by b.p., but instead, by an independent third party in order to ensure all legitimate claims are paid out in fair and a timely manner. but we also need to be committed to a long-term plan for restoration that goes beyond responding to the crisis at the moment. and so the president has asked the secretary of the navy and former mississippi governor to develop a long-term gulf coast
restoration plan as soon as possible. and the plan will be designed by states, local communities, tribes, fishermen, businesses, conversationalists and other gulf coast residents and b.p. will pay for the impact this spill has had on the region. we also are taking steps to ensure a disaster like this does not happen again. and that's why the president has established a national commission to understand the causes of this disaster and offer recommendations on what additional safety and environmental standards need to be put in place. and the president has issued a six-month moratorium on the deep water drilling. he's mindful that this creates
difficulty for the people who work on these rigs. but for the sake of their safety and for the sake of the entire region, we need to know -- the facts before we allow deepwater drilling to continue. and while the president urges the commission to complete its work as quickly as possible, but expects that work done thoroughly and impartially. and we have already begun to take action at the minerals and management service to ensure more effective oversight and end the close relationship between oil companies and the agency that regulates them. the president has asked michael bromwich, a former federal prosecutor and inspector general to lead this effort and build an organization that acts as the
oil industry's watchdog, not its partner. and so we must look towards the future, mr. garamendi. we must look at our energy future. and we must get off this addition to oil. -- addiction to oil. the globe is speaking to us. we have gone too deep this time and at the core of this earth, there is a lot of static and volatile motion and we are seeing it bubble up. and when we look around this globe and we see the volcano explosion in iceland that grounded pplanes for weeks, whe we look at the earthquake down in haiti, and we see other effects on the globe naturally, we are getting the message. so we must take action to look
at our planet, to notice the environmental tragedies that really underscore the need for this nation to embrace a clean energy future. and i look forward to having conversations on this floor with all of my colleagues and with you leading those conversations. we will make plans that will sustain a future for those yet unborn. and that is the purpose of looking towards new energy sources that don't violate the surface of our planet earth that go down so deep that disturb the powers underground. mr. garamendi: thank you so much for your eloquent comments on what has happened, what we must
do. i notice that sitting next to you is a representative from the other side of the american continent, representative moran from the commonwealth of virginia. mr. moran: thank you for having this special order. we in virginia, not all of us, but many of us, watch with sadness what happened to the california shores. and we don't want it repeated in virginia. even though the governor and the republican party have pushed and pushed with these silly, drill, baby, drill. drill here, there and everywhere, we aren't going to let it happen. if we had not been diligent, we might have some drilling rigs off the shore of virginia today, but we don't and they're not going to go there until there is a substantial modification of
the industry practices with regard to offshore drilling. let's bear in mind that what we're talking about is our nation's oil. it's not oil that's owned by these oil companies or by the private sector, it's owned by us the taxpayer, it's public land. it's owned by our children and grandchildren. and instead of being put to our benefit and their benefit because of neglect, carelessness, irresponsible decisions, it is destroying the ecology of the gulf and could well destroy the ecology of the everglades along the florida shore and could even go up the east coast. we have no idea how extensive this damage is going to be. how expensive it will be to
clean it up. but we are now getting an idea of why it happened. and i would say to the jar and to the speaker that we ought to be mindful, first of all, that this was not under president obama's watch. it was not under any kind of democratic policy. it was under the administration of a president who owned an oil drilling company, an oil exploration company, a vice president who was the c.e.o. of haliburton, who made money from manufacturing and installing drilling rigs. in fact, continued to own thousands of shares, while they made enormous profits not only from drilling rigs but from the war in iraq and afghanistan. so while these two folks sit
back, the damage is being inflicted upon people who through no fault, but became dependent upon this industry and our heart goes out to those not only who lost their lives but those who lost their livelihoods. now, when we trace back how this particular drilling rig exploded , we find that there were a number of points along the way where it could have been avoided. back in 2003, the interior department, the bush administration's interior department agreed with b.p. and other oil companies that installing a $500,000 accuse ti call shutoff -- acoustical
shutoff switch would be too expensive, although it would have prevented all of this oil from spewing up. now it's costing b.p. billions of dollars. it's costing our country billions of dollars in tourism, fishing industry. and costing the lives of thousands and thousands of people because they cut corners. they weren't even willing to spend $500,000, a half a million dollars on a shutoff switch. and then they feel badly and think they are being beaten up on by the congress. let me share some of the reasons why they have lost our credibility. for one, they started out telling us that it was about 1,000 barrels a day that were leaking. i think the gentleman will remember that.
of course, for every barrel, there is 42 gallons in a barrel, which would mean that every day, about 200,000 gallons of oil were being emitted. then they were up to 5,000, which means that -- well, with 5,000, instead of 42,000 gallons of oil a daay, it was 210,000. the science tieses who say, we + -- scientists who say we think it is much larger than this, they continue to be ignored. and now we find that every second, 18 gallons of oil is being emitted from this spill. now, think about that. most of us, to fill our tank, gas tank in our car, it takes about 18 gallons. all of that is going into the
gulf every second, which means that we've got more than 1,000 a minute. we've got 65,000 gallons an hour and we have 1.6 million gallons every day. it's hard for the mind to comprehend that, but 1.6 million gallons of oil is coming out into the gulf every day. and this has gone on for what, 50 days? now, what has to happen in the future? there needs to be a timeout, no more deepwater drilling until number one, we have the technology on hand. the minerals management service has been assured that this cannot happen again. we had a 30-day window, open window, where they had the ability to determine whether permits should be issued.
they didn't take any of that time. but in the future, we need trained personnel, we need tested equipment, we need all the technology to be on hand. and all of that research that should have been done, it needs to be paid for by the oil companies. the taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for that research. the taxpayers shouldn't pay for the training or equipment, but all of it needs to be tested. it is the taxpayers' oil and taxpayers' land and has been exploited. and a lot of people have made billions of dollars by drilling off our land, drilling the oil that really belongs to our children and grandchildren. it's time to put a stop to this. as far as i'm concerned, there should be a moratorium until we can assure the american public and our children and grandchildren that this can never happen again because the government is going to be the
sheriff in the future. the obama administration is going to put in the people that care about our environment that are going to regulate this oil drilling and are going to ensure that this kind of catastrophe never happens again because we'reenot going to show the kind of negligence and greed that drove this situation to occur. so i thank you, mr. garamendi. let me conclude by starting where i started that we feel bad for what happened to california. we feel worse for what is now the worst ecological disaster in the gulf, but we have to make sure that we learn from this and we never ever let such a thing happen again. thank you. .
mr. garamendi: thank you. it's not just drill, baby, drill, it's spill, baby, spill. these spills are not unusual. you use the words irresponsible actions. corners being cut. and decisions being made that were -- that led to this blowout. you mentioned $500,000 that could have been spent and should have bonn spent on an acoustical switch. i was talking to one of our colleagues here who was a former prosecutor, former federal prosecutor. and the colleague said to me, if there is evidence that one, that two of the b.p. executives worked together to circumvent a law or regulation, it may very
well be criminal conspiracy. to that end, the obama justice department has initiated a criminal probe of b.p.'s actions with regard to this spill. we know that this is not the first time b.p. has been involved in a serious accident that has cost lives. 11 on this drilling rig, at their refinery in texas, another large number of employees were both injured and killed. it's time for this industry to get its act together. i know that representative tonko, you've been involved in this for so very long. i see that representative farr is not with us right now, so if you'd pick this up and carry us for a little while. thank you very much. mr. tonko: listening to representative moran, our friend and colleague from virginia, reminds us of the investment in technology that should accompany this situation
that there should have been the checks and balances, should have been the investment, as he suggested, drop in the bucket investment, compared to the damages now associated with this catastrophe. i know the people i represent in the 21st congressional district watch with sadness as they see the news accounts that show us the day-to-day responses with this catastrophe. i want to make mention, we've heard a lot of talk this evening about alternative technology that needs to be embraced to carry us into an innovation economy my region, the capital region of new york state is rife with that sort of opportunity. it is investing in high tech opportunities for clean energy jobs and innovation, energy intellect, energy ideas, energy technology that will enable us to move forward with a progressive agenda. the fact that we've been kept, held back, by slogans and mantras such as drill, baby, drill, drill deeper, have held
back the progress, even the likes of t. boone pickens has said we can't drill ourselves out of the energy crises of this country or the world. we need to embrace new technology we need to bring about the source of jobs that will allow far clean energy economy to take hold and make certain we invest in those subsidies that will take us into renewables like utilizing our sun and wind and water and soil to create and respond to the energy generation we require. i think that's so very important. mr. garamendi: if i may interrupt you for a second, maybe more than a second, we prepared a little diagram here. this is -- let's consider this a quiz for the american public. which of these energy sources get the most federal subsidies? would it be solar? maybe the algae, they do technologies of algae producing
fuel. how about wave action? or maybe it's wind. or maybe it's the oil industry. which one? get the most. mr. tonko: i think we'll have a sad answer here. mr. garamendi: we may have an answer, but i'll let people ponder that as we turn to my colleague, congressman sam farr. mr. farr: it was such a pleasure serving with you in the california legislateture when we adopted a lot of legislation dealing with handling oil. i would like to share with you essentially a tale of two states, states that are both oil producing states, states that both have offshore oil drilling, and those two states are are california and louisiana. the comparison here is essentially ooe that i really want to ask, mr. speaker, that governor jindal, ask not what
the federal government can do for louisiana but what louisiana should be doing for its own constituency, as california has done for its constituency, know weffing an oil economy, somewhat of an oil economy in the state, certainly an offshore oil economy. the comparison is this. both states have an oil response. california has a strong law on oil response. louisiana has a very weak law on oil response. why? that is something that louisiana ought to correct. the california statute, stationed throughout california, place to clean up wildlife. it's paid for, implemented, it's essentially large wildlife veterinary hospitals. the one in my district, you could bring a small whale in and operate on it. louisiana has no such network, no such program, no such allocation of resources. another big disability.
big difference between the two. liability caps. louisiana has no cap on liability. california -- california has no cap on damages. louisiana has a cap on damages. when you and i and our colleague jackie speier who has joined us here, were all members of the state legislature, i offered legislation you sponsored to put a strict limit on liability -- strict liability in state law. there's no cap on damages in state law. louisiana, friend of the oil company, puts caps on damages. they're not asking for that cap right now, they're asking for it to be raised. big difference number three between louisiana and california, both offshore oil drilling states, civil and criminal penalties. california sets up an involved civil and criminal penalties related to oil spills, a whole section of law. louisiana has no civil or criminal penalties.
louisiana, come on. if you're going to cry now, where is the federal government when off problem, why haven't you risen to the occasion? california has had that law in place since 1990. your law was enacted in 1991 with no teeth. it's about time you took responsibility for putting some teeth into your state law. lastly, what both states have is a coastal zone management act, created by the federal government. there's a nifty provision in that act, it's called a consistency provision. it means the state can review any proposals to do offshore oil drillings, in federal waters or state waters. as long as you have an adopted plan and that plan can explain why you should condition that oil drilling or even deny that oil drilling in federal waters, you have the power at the state level to do that. we in california have used that power and prevented the federal government from expanding its offshore oil drilling. we're going further with a bill
mr. garamendi has because we realize that drilling for oil off coast is high risk and low gain, you really don't get a lot out of it. the risk we can see from what's happening in the gulf right now. louisiana, don't cry for what the federal government is not doing, cry for yourself, what you're not doing to help your own constituency put teeth in the laws that would allow you to deny offshore oil drilling rigs to put conditions on the offshore oil drilling rigs to have aloy -- allow you to have money to clean up the mess and help wildlife to put teeth in penalties and raise the caps. we want to see our coastal states have a strong law and most of all we think if you really look at it, we shouldn't be drilling offshore at all. lastly, i want to change the issue because part of it is about money. there's money that come into the federal treasury from offshore oil drilling. it produces $23.2 billion.
$23.2 billion. out of that, congress has authorized the expenditure of about $5 billion. in five programs. american indian tribes get some of that money. historic preservation gets some of the money. land and water conservation fund, which is essentially land, more than water. on land, not offshore, gets some of the money. reclamation fund gets some of the money and there are two funds that go back to the states. but out of the $23 billion fund, $5 billion, less than 20%, goes -- is spent. where does the rest of it go? into the united states treasury. guess what, all ma money made from offshore oil drill, not a penny spent on the ocean. we've got a big source of income the united states government can use to start with renewable resources, start investing in the oceans and
most importantly to create an oceans fund and oceans governance plan so it isn't chaos at sea, it's a planned, organized, smart bayway to use the ocean just like we learned smart ways to use the land. i commend you on your bill and your work and thank you for inviting me to be here tonight. mr. garamendi: thank you, mr. farr. i'll go back and answer the question about where does do the federal subsidies go in just a moment, but i see our colleague, congresswoman jackie speier, has arrived, with a young lady, the next generation who has to live with our decisions we're making right now with regard to climate change and the extraordinary consumption of carbon-based fuels. if you would join us, thank you very much for joining us, congresswoman. ms. speier: thank you, congressman and thank you for your leadership in this area and recognizing the next
generation. mary ann larson is going to be part of the next generation that's going to be asking, did we do enough? and the question i have tonight that i'd like to pose is, when will we see enough damage to say, enough is enough. how many oil spills do we need before we take decisive action to end our dependence on fossil fuels. just last week, probably not heard, because we have been focused on the b.p. oil spill, but last week, we saw yet another spill in salt lake city, utah. any oil spill is one too many and the era of our planet being constantly contaminated by crude oil must come to an end. the preventable accident in the gulf claimed 11 lives, as we know, tragically, and is now the worst environmental disaster in this country's history and the biggest environmental cleanup that we have ever undertaken. it served as a terrible reminder of our country's
dangerous dependence on foreign oil. as long as we remain addicted to that oil, both foreign and domestic, spills are inevitable. and the question we've got to ask ourselves, how many more do we want to somehow live with. live with the damage to our ecosystem, live with the damage to the people that are afflicted by it. the jobs that are lost, the tourism that is lost. they've been with us for over a century, these oil spills, and they'll be with us for centuries more unless we break that addiction to oil. we must replace oil and our energy supply with clean fuel and it's right here. we have it. we know what it is. you've pointed to some of them in that chart. and the stunning figure that i just heard that i'd like to share with you tonight, mr. garamendi is that by just retrofitting 75,000 homes in this country we would save the equivalent of all the oil that
has spewed into the gulf by b.p. just retrofitting 75,000 homes. now, we have passed in this house legislation, the homes bill, which will spur the retrofitting of 3.3 million homes and create over 600,000 jobs. the energy saved from these retrofit, if the senate passes that measure, would save more than 44 times the wasted energy floating in the gulf. and it would do so at 1/40th of the cost. mr. garamendi: that's very, very interesting and if i recall the vote, when that was on the floor, the republicans voted against that. . not only would it save that energy, but help each homeowner's utility bill. go figure.
go figure. i have to answer this question and please help me with this, who gets the most subsidies? solar, algae, wind or oil? the answer is oil. if you take a look 2002 to 2008, where did the subsidies go? well, the oil industry got over $70 billion of taxpayer money in direct tax subsidies, $72 billion. the green renewable energy got $ 12.2 billion from 2002 tt 2008. and ethanol, $16.8 billion. if we took this money, this subsidy, $70 billion over a six-year period and shifted it over to this side, particularly
up here to the renewable energy, this is solar, wind, advanced biofuels like algae and the rest, where would we be, where would that young lady's future be? you shift the subsidies around. is that possible? can we do that? what do you think? ms. speier: of course. it's whether we have the will. we need to equalize the subsidies that we are providing there and take that money, take $6 billion, retrofit 3.5 million homes and create thousands and thousands of jobs. mr. garamendi: why didn't the republicans vote for that? ms. speier: it's the same reason they sat in this chamber a year and a half ago and chanted over and over again, drill, baby drill. it was like a high school
football field and couldn't say it loud enough or long enough or repeat it often enough. mr. garamendi: i wasn't here at that time. you're telling me just less than a year ago -- ms. speier: 18 months ago. mr. garamendi: they sat here and said drill, baby, drill. they said in the moratorium on deepwater drilling, they said drill. you want another oil spill? 48 in the last 18 years plus this big one. that's not the solution. the solution lies in moving to a new energy source, the green technologies, the renewable energy so that it is the sun that gives us the power in the future, so that that young lady doesn't have to face the extraordinary impact that climate change will bring. we have to move away from carbon-based fuels, would you
agree with that? ms. speier: i absolutely agree with that. and i think we've got to face some very fundamental facts. if you continue to drill at 18,000 feet, you're asking for trouble. mr. garamendi: let's see. everything that can go wrong will go wrong and b.p. didn't plan for what could go wrong. in fact, they ignored it and put together an application that just ignored the possibility of the worst case. in situations like this, we must force the industry to assume the worst case will happen. we have seen it no more. mr. speaker, thank you very much for the time. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. under the speaker's announced policy january 6, 2009, the gentleman from texas, mr. carter, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the
mr. carter: thank you,, mr. speaker. and i thank you for this hour. it's going to be an interesting couple of weeks on this issue of this oil spill because we're going to get two conflicting points of view. i actually heard, i believe, that somehow this oil spill is now george bush's fault. it reminds me of the game that kevin bacon game, no matter what actor or movie, you have to bring it back in seven cycles to kevin bacon and seems everything that goes on in the united states that the majority party seems to somehow that whatever goes on in the united states, they can somehow track it back to george w. bush. and what i heard was that mr.
bush had used a drilling rig at some point in his life and therefore it's bush's fault there was a failure or to some extent there was a failure on this b.p. drilling rig. it's getting a little old for the american public for them to hear constantly that no matter what goes wrong in the obama administration, it's george w. bush's fault. i think this is getting a little old and getting -- seems to be a fantasy that seems to be prevailing. we have got a great disaster in the gulf. and nobody's denying we have a great disaster in the gulf. today, i heard a man who actually knows something about drilling in the gulf. i haven't heard anyone stand up
that has talked on the majority side tonight and said, by the way, i have drilled these -- and let me tell you what has happened in the gulf. but trent frank came to us today and showed us what is happening in the gulf and it's very interesting and why the cap failed that they first started and why the wells that are being drilled to intersect this well, the relief wells should be successful. and you know, if you want an expert and want to know how you do something, you ought to talk to somebody that's actually done it. and trent, a member of this body, has actually done it. so we'll find out whenever we get this spill stopped, we'll
find out what happened in the gulf to cause this thing to blow out and it may be human error. it may be the company's error. it may be short cuts they took. it may be the inspector's error. it could be just about anybody's error. we don't know. now, the truth is, we don't have to know yet, because the presumption is overwhelming that it's b.p.'s responsibility and they admit it it's their responsibility. but blame-gaming is not going to stop the oil from flowing into the gulf. putting our resources together at every level from every source is part of what you do when you have a national emergency. and i don't care whether that national emergency has the name
katrina or rita or ike or any of the other names or carla or any of the other names of hurricanes that have swept across our gulf and attacked all gulf states at some point in time or has the name -- what's the name of this well, i can't remember anymore -- anyway just call it the b.p. well in the gulf of mexico blew out. what's the problem? with the hurricane and things are blowing and things are getting torn down, we need to put our resources together to help the people and industries that are attacked by the hurricane. today, we have animals, we have sea life, we have wildlife, sea life, human life that is threatened by this b.p. oil
spill. and dwsh -- and our first job and not only of british petroleum and those who have the responsibility to protect the united states,, the president, and this congress, should have poured massive support into doing something about this oil well and stopping this spill and should have done it through the people who have the intelligence and the technology to tell us just exactly what we're dealing with. i wouldn't recommend you call the gray white hunter in africa to tell him how to put down the oil spill. i wouldn't recommend you call a surgeon in brooklyn, new york and ask him to put down this oil spill. and i wouldn't recommend that you talk to a community organizer and ask him how to put down this oil spill. i would recommend that you immediately when this happened,
approach those people who have the expertise to deal with this oil spill and do it. and quite honestly, i think we have to say that the president of the united states told us the buck stops with him, so he's the person who should have started this ball rolling when this whole thing started coming down on us. got a little chart up here, gulf spill timeline and ought to look at that fo just a minute. see how well we did in deciding that we were, as a government that enjoyed the oil and gas industry in coming up with a solution to british petroleum's disaster that they have created in our blessed gulf of mexico. i think i have the state with the largest amount of gulf of mexico coastline as any state in
this union. florida would be a close second and may have more, but certainly the state of texas has a lot. so let's look at this thing for just a second. april 20, 2010 and today is the 16 of june, so looking back to april 20, explosion occurred, 11 people were killed. right there we knew we had a problem. the first oil leak was officially recognized and revealed by the administration in washington on april 24. so four days later, the administration acknowledged and revealed to us that there was an oil leak. on april 28, the secretary of the interior, mr. salazar, traveled down to the b.p. command center in houston. april 29, homeland security secretary napolitano announced a
spill of national significance and president obama made his first public remarks about the disaster. that's nine days after it occurred. april 30, the president deployed his senior administration officials to the gulf region to make requests of the louisiana and makes the requests for remarks about what's going on and louisiana national guard was activated to assist. that's a start. that's a first start. president visits the gulf on may 2. like 13 days after the event. cabinet officers and members of congress -- briefed members of congress on may 4 about the seriousness of this event. may 11, louisiana requests emergency permission from the federal government to dredge barriers to construct berms.
now, when i was about 18 years old, i worked in south louisiana and the whole ecology and economy of louisiana is directly affected by what they call the marshlands. there are literally thousands of people who make their living because the marshlands in louisiana thrive to be breeding grounds and producing grounds for numerous amounts of seafood products. and in fact, i would venture to say there isn't anybody who eats seafood in the united states and have done it for any length of time in all of their life has eaten seafood that was produced as a result of the overall environment of the louisiana coastal region, which is 99% marsh. .
marsh is different from a beach. a beach is bad. if you have the gorgeous white sand beaches in pensacola, or in alabama, mississippi, or florida. tar balls on the beach this nasty sludge coming into the beach is going to bicy and yucky and nasty if you get it on your feet, you have to clean it up with alcohol, it can burn you, tear you up. but if that come into the marsh, it can kill, will kill, plant life, animal life, and ocean life. so when the governor of louisiana, who was so unfairly criticized here tonight by the opposition, if -- when the governor said, look, guys, at least authorize some dredging to put some sand barriers between us and -- between our
marsh and that -- that terrible spill that's headed our direction, and yet, we were -- it wasn't until the 27th of may that the federal government granted louisiana partial permission to dredge sand up to build sort of an island-type barrier so maybe that oil would hit the sand and not come in where all the plants and wildlife and the sea life lives and thrives and functions. but that was only 27 days too late. the 28th of may, the president went down and looked at the gulf -- his second visit to the gulf states. this is what he told us, the buck stops with me. i agree with him. the buck stops with the
president of the united states and now we are hearing people scream about a national disaster, which it is. and the president of the united states' job was to lead. and lead means go out and if you have to, roll up your sleeves and suck oil out of the water. you need to get people out there that are taking it seriously enough to follow the instructions of the man on the ground, governor jindal who said, it's not a solution, but it sure would help if there's a barrier between us and that oil. and you shouldn't -- he shouldn't have had to wait for the federal government to hem and haw and say we don't know what that sand island you're going to build is going to do to the overall environment of south louisiana. what does it matter? the oil is going to come in and wrebling it, so let's dig up the sand. but no, we had to delay. on the 29th of may, british
petroleum did its top kill plan to try to stop the oil and it fail. the second of june, the obama administration finally approved louisiana's plan to dredge and tells b.p. to pay $360 million for five new berms. the justice department announced that criminal investigation into the explosion and spill. that's, let's see, all of may and 11 days in april when nothing of significance took place. june 14. senate democrats write b.p., calling on the company to set up a $20 billion independent administrative -- administered escrow fund to compensate victims of the spill. june 15, yesterday, president obama makes the oval office speech on the oil spill and uses the crisis to push climate change legislation.
and if you heard what our colleagues were talking about in the previous one hour before this congress, they were talking about what -- that we need to have alternative fuels to replace oil. and replace petroleum products. in fact, all carbon products, coal, oil, natural gas. and they talked to you about the subsidies and other things. but they show you on the chart, and you see this one right here? it's algae. algae is going to be, we're going to he re-place, next year, we're going to replace all the energy produced by oil with algae. if you'll put the resources in algae. no, because it won't. did you say, look at the wind farms, this is going to replace all the energy we need to charge our electric cars so we don't even have to run on any kind of petroleum product and
that's all we need is to subsidize that and pour money into it and it will replace it in the next two years why am i using the term the next two years? the novet united states has put a moratorium on the gulf, on -- the president of the united states has put a moratorium on the gulf, on drilling in the gulf, and 17% of our consumption in oil and oil products, which includes plastic and other byproducts of oil and natural gas, all those, 17% of that a year comes from deep water drilling in the gulf of mexico. so in two years, that's 34% of our fuel consumption nationwide that's going to have to be accounted for by somebody, in some alternative form if we're going to give up on oil and gas. are there any of our alternatives that are even
close to replacing 34% of our energy consumption in this country? no. will there be? maybe. but the reality is, we get up in the morning, and we start our cars and we drive to work and generally, we're burning gasoline or diesel. all of which are products of the petroleum industry. and if you're not going to use gasoline or diesel you better hook a sail up to your car and hope the wind is blowing toward work or you're not going to work. so the reality is, just cave in on an industry because of a terrible disaster is like saying, oh, my god, a 747 went down with 600 passengers, shut down the air industry for the next six months. but here's the reality. the reality is, this six month shut down of the gulf is actually going to be a
five-year shutdown of the gulf because once they pull those rigs out of the gulf, we're not going to get them back, it's estimated, for three to five years. so the six month moratorium, in effect, shuts down 17% of our energy production in this country. for five years. potentially for five years. it's time to be realistic and say, what's the big problem right now? and it's the oil spill. what's the -- why sit a problem? because oil is floating around on our pristine gulf of mexico, it is moving from state to state, it's eventually going to come ashore someplace, and why aren't we doing everything we can to bring people over here from anywhere that will help and say, we'll help. i'm going to stop, i'm going to add one more thing. on june 16, president obama met
with b.p. executives in the white house. that's today he got his $20 billion to go into escrow crowe. but the reality is, where have we been, where is our lead -- where has our leadership been of this country, the president of the united states and the administration, when the oil was spilling out of that well? why didn't we answer the phone when the dutch said, three days after the spill started, we've got a fleet of skimmers that can come and help you skim oil. why didn't we respond? why didn't we say, world, we help you every chance you ask us to help you, give us a hand. anybody whose got resources that can soak up oil, please, bring them to the united states and help us out. and that kind of leadership had to come from the president of the united states. and the waving of the antique act called the jones act had to be done by the president of the united states.
the gentleman talked about the need to bring skimmers and other craft in and he spoke about waiving the jones act which president bush did, i think, in four days. afterwards we haven't called for a waiving of the jones act, but we could support it. it probably should have been done. there have been offers of foreign vessels. i was absolutely dumbfounded on saturday, i received an urgent email from those who are involved in american -- with american flag vessels, one of the leading maritime and ship owners, domestically flagged, u.s. flag, who contacted me on saturday, the message just
floored me. mr. mica, our industry the american flag industry, doesn't mind waiving the jones act, the jones act does protect the american jobs and american labor, again, with -- it's great to have those flag vessels waive withing it, it's done on rare occasions, emergencies as president bush did. but i was told, informed, that we have flagged jones act compliant vessels, american flagged vessels, waiting, this particular company, one of the largest maritime companies in the united states, american flag, has been waiting for a call, they've been waiting for a call from the department of homeland security, from the coast guard, any federal agency or b.p., to come in and provide -- they have vessels that can
help, could be helping in the cleanup, even before we exempted vessels, foreign vessels to come in on this, and we had an offer of that for some time. i was shocked, i said to secretary napolitano yesterday, a letter and i outlined what the information i got, i lead the transportation committee in the house on the republican side, but i said, madam speaker, -- i said, madam secretary, this is unbelievable that no one has i vailed themselveses of the the american flagged vessels who have ready, who have equipment, we should not be engaged in florida or other states in having that oil up on our shores, we had the capability that's not even been utilized today, so this was my letter my
plea to the secretary, and i'm shocked and disappointed. the other thing is too, there seems to be a conflict. last night we heard the president say that we have been in charge. he's in charge, as the commander in chief, under the oil spill recovery act that we passed in 1990 after exxon valdez, it's pretty clear the chain of command. but fat allen who is in charge of this, in charge of the spill cleanup, he said that we do not have the capability, the united states government does not have the capability. he said that over and over again , that the private sector has this capability.
here again we have u.s. flag vessels that can do the cleanup, haven't gotten the call. still waiting. the jones acc, they could have waived and allowed those who volunteered assistance with skimmers and other equipment that has not come in. so, while there are folks in this administration who say they're in charge, there's some disconnect here in getting the equipment, getting the resources out there. in fact, the private sector has been in charge and this is the first time the president has met with them. i was dumb founded too today and i think judge carter was in that meeting and other members on other side of the aisle, when we heard the gulf coast delegation say they have requested but not yet met with the president of
the united states. it's hard to believe the president would not meet with the elected representatives of the gulf coast states to sit down. and then time an again we heard in the review that took place today of requests, simple requests for burns to stopple the oil coming into the marshes, a simple request to act now before or sooner rather than later and we've seen the results of now that oil making its way towards the florida shores and doing even more damage. so, if in fact the president is in charge, we need to free these vessels, employ every means possible to keep this disaster from going further. one other thing i disagree with and the president, now, i know it's important to act and he did act in imposing a moratorium.
but i think what they tried to do and i think he revised that moratorium to not affect the 3,500 shallow water drilling sites, but it is closing down the deep water drilling sites. and some of those are exploration sites and in fact they probably should be closed until we have assurances that future deep water drilling can be done. my point here is that by closing all of them down with a blanket moratorium, we are putting more people out of work, taking a horrible situation and making it worse. we will have even more people unemployed. so i think the logical, reasonable approach would be to send inspectors in, hire, retain, whatever we need, have
government officials go in and see that the deep water drilling that is taking placee where they actually have the well in production, which i think is about half of the approximately 30 deep water wells that are out there, we don't want to make this situation worse economically for those that have lost their job, seen their business close down, or again see thousands of people put out of work by the wrong approach. so, a reasonable approach. first we get every piece of equipment, whether it's u.s. or foreign flagged there. let's get this -- this can be cleaned up. this is a doable job with both u.s. vessels that have been waiting to hear that call from the administration and then secondly let's also be reasonable in the moratorium. i have been a strong advocate of
keeping the u.s. independent and free as much as we could, drill where it's safe, my state of florida i helped on 100-mile setoff years and years ago, i thought that was reasonable. but you know, it always may or may not make a difference. because this was only 45 miles off the coast of louisiana, as we've seen. the other thing we need to do is have a good backup system. we shouldn't be rubberstamping approvals that any company, whether the b.p. or anyone else. b.p. in february of 2009 gave this, and this is a copy of it, this is the plan for their exploring that site and doing an exploration well, a development well. this plan was submitted in march of 2009, over a year ago. and this is the one-page
approval. i got a copy of this before our transportation committee hearing just before it took place. this is the one-page cart blanch abrolve. i don't think some of the people in the minerals management service even read this 59-page request and we've heard hearings lately as to the failures of b.p. to outline a good, solid proposal. this proposal is the basic plan for drilling that b.p. submitted and it also refers to a much bigger document and that's the actual 500-plus page-page document that details all of the spill cleanup procedures that b.p. would employ. that was also rubber staaped with this approval, this one-page approval.
so this was done by the obama administration with people sleeping at the switch or not paying attention. what's shocking and i heard former governor palin tell the country this, people should listen to governor palin on this, when she was the governor she was tough on the oil companies. no one passed anything by her. she cracked down on them, made sure they toed the line. what was interesting with is governor palin told what they did, she said, this never would have happened, this kind of approval in her state, because there would have been more scrutiny. the plan that b.p. offered in addition with this 59-page, the 500-page cleanup plan, it looks like b.p. mirrored the alaska plan. it told how they were going to deal with cleaning up sale and polar bears. none of which i've seen in the gulf of mexico.
so, again, the minerals management service was asleep at the switch. what's finally startling is two things. one, i got -- i had our transportation infrastructure committee get a copy of the president's budget. this is the obama bbdget, not doctored, i have the exact pages and cover copy of the budget. and in february of this year, before this oil spill, the president submitted a budget to our t&i committee, transportation and infrastructure, that oversees the coast guard, to slash the coast guard, our first responders by $1 -- 1,100 positions. in addition he wanted to demission and take out of service ships, helicopters, aircraft, all which are necessary for our first responders. i remember when my ranking member on the coast guard
committee within our transportation committee, when we heard about this, we sent out this press release, this is in february, after the president had recommended cutting our first responders, we said, well, we said the outrageous, we said, this is a recipe for disaster. and this is dated february 25, after we got this. then startling in this also, if you look a little bit further in the budget, not under our purr view, but our staff found this, it that the minerals management service that the president talked about last night and how we need to clean that up and everything, in his budget that he proposed to congress, he proposed slashing the environmental review agency within that or activities within that agency by $2 million. a pretty dramatic cut for
someone who has to review, again, that the private sector submits their plan, slashing that plan. i thought this was just unbelievable. and finally, this is if in february, in march the president came out and this is the story in "the new york times" and it said that we have to increase drilling in the gulf. this didn't make it up, the "the new york times." obama opened offshore areas to oil drilling, it says right here, the gulf. so, first he's slashing first responders, then he's next proposing slashing the agency that does the environmental reviews, the review, again, the oil companies present that to the mineral management service. they review it, i showed you the rubber stamp april 6 that they approved it. and then finally again the main
thing now with cleaning this mess up, and we've got to employ everyone we can, every piece of equipment, be it domestic or foreign, keep that from coming in. this is a doable job, when governors ask to take steps, the solution doesn't need to be caught up for weeks in approvals and agencies. it shouldn't be why we can't do something, it should be how can we get this accomplished? we've got people around the coast whose livelihood now depends on this. we can't let this disaster that's already done a great damage to our economy, we have an incredible loss of life that we've seen and again we empathize with those who have lost loved ones in this tragedy, but we can't make a horrible tragedy even worse.
i thank judge carter, my colleague, the gentleman from texas, i see we also have another outstanding member of our transportation and infrastructure committee, mr. olson, also, a the gentleman from texas. i thank you for coming out tonight, sharing with the congress, the house of representatives, and our colleagues some of the facts and information that needs to get out to the public so that we can get this mess behind us. thank you so much and i'll yield back. mr. carter: before you yield back, would you tell us a little bit about your oil spill liability fund improvement act? mr. mica: i'll tell you right now, we're open to suggestions. we are looking at trying to be reasonable in whatever we do. to just impose an unlimited caps
on liability could be a very serious and daniel -- damaging measure. first of all, let me say, i believe that b.p. must be held accountable, fully accountable, and certainly that company has the resources. they must be responsible for the cleanup, they must also be -- even though there's a limit under the current 1990 statutes of $75 million, they must be held accountable far beyond that for economic damages. what we don't want to see is that we make the terms for liability, say a high, that only a few multinational corporations will ever be in the oil business. producers in texas and throughout the gulf, there are thousands of people in business that do a good job day in and
day out. 3,500 to 3,600 i believe active rigs in the gulf are shallow water, but they shouldn't be penalized by the failure of government, by the failure of a big corporation. let's hold their feet to the fire. so we're going to work with the democrats, we're going to work with the administration, we're going to try to craft something that is fair and reasonable, holds people accountable, holds their feet to the fire. the current thing that we have should not be just the slush fund or financing the cleanup for b.p. or any big company. that was actually set up for orphan spills or for a company that doesn't -- that may not have the assets that was responsible for a spill. we want that fount continue to work we may need to be sure we
have coverage for the future. what we don't want to do, whether it's by the moratorium or by putting in insurance and liability limits that are so high that very few people can meet those requirements. so we're crafting that legislation, we want to do in it a bipartisan manner. the law does need to be altered. we should learn and we should benefit by this horrible experience and make it better and make certain it doesn't happen again. thank you for, again, your leadership and asking me to participate tonight. mr. carter: i thank the gentleman for what he's had to say. i want to tell you my wife a dutch. i took a little offense at the fact that we had an offer of help from the dutch of a fleet of skimmers and it's my understanding we gave no response, maybe that's
different, i'm like will rogers, all i know is what i read in the newspapers. now i'm more upset when i find out we have american-flagged ships waiting in harbor to help and no one has asked for help. the leadership that run this is country, the executive branch, should be ashamed of yourself. mr. mica: if i might, if you'd yield for just a second, i've worked very closely with mr. oberstar, the democrat, the chair of the t and i committee, when we found out they $1.6 billion fund has $150 million cap for emergency use, we came together last week, i offered legislation specifically to deal with that, again, we have to act in a responsible manner for the country. we passed that, the house concurred with us, and we have
provided some temporary relief, again, i'm not going to let the $1.6 billion or the $150 million be a piggy bank for b.p. or any respoosible parties, but we want to make certain that all the resources are there on an emergency basis to the administration, to the coast guard, whoever. so no one can say it was -- that congress didn't act in a timely fashion. we were alerted, some of the funds were run logue in that emergency portion of the 1.6 which is put out in advance. i talked before about the legislation we're looking at on liability caps and that's what we've done in a bipartisan fashion today. we did that and we're prepared to do even more on the caps, whatever it takes, and whatever resources and assets of the
government and the private sector we can bring to bear to bring this horrible disaster under control. thank you again for your leadership, both of our texas members, mr. carter and mr. olson. mr. carter: reclaiming my time, let me say right off, i'm very, very proud to be part of a congress that instantly eacts to a crisis situation. you and mr. oberstar should be commended for that reaction. that's what we're asking for the entire government to do. let's react positively. let's work as a team. let's quit blaming previous administrations. let's go to the -- do the job to clean this mess up. i thank you very much. my good friend from texas who lives in the heart of all -- of oil country, u.s.a., houston, texas is in my way of thinking, the center of the universe for the oil industry. my good friend, pete olson, is
one of our members of our houston delegation, very knowledgeable in this area. he has some legislation and maybe other things he wishes to talk about so i yield to my friend, pete olson, the member from sugarland and all points south, talk to us about how he feels about what's going on today. mr. olson: thank you for hosting this special order tonight on such an important issue for the american people. i'd like to thank my colleague from florida for coming by and give his per spictive on how this disaster is affecting florida. i was in the navy for 10 years, naval officer. we're trained to lead. we -- in my aircraft, i was a crew of 12, five officers, seven enlisted folks, i was patrol plane commander. those 11 individuals depended on me to bring them, take them out, do a mission, and come back home safely. to sum it up in two words, the philosophy is, leaders lead.
guess what, we're not seeing leadership out of washington. we've had a very difficult situation. we've had the largest oil spill in american history. and there are thousands of jobs affected already. the fishing industry across the coast of louisiana, mississippi, alabama the tourist industry and the people, we're in the summer season, this is when people go on vacation. the hotels are about half full, from what i hear. it's having a significant impact on the people of the gulf coast. what does the administration do? do they lead? no. in a knee jerk reaction they impose a six-month moratorium on deep water drilling. all of it. stopped. again, disaster for our economy and for our nation. let me go into specifics. the jobs. it's going to affect up to
150,000 jobs that are going to be lost because of the moratorium. that's 1.5 time mishometown of sugar land, which the judge mentioned, that's like wiping sugarland off the map. the rigs currently out there, the 33 rigs, i've talked to a constituent in my district who has an ownership interest in two of those rigs. i asked him last week how long can you hang out? he said, three weeks. max. how much sit costing? the rigs are different, one has $500,000 a day, the other one is at $1 million a day. $1 million. this moratorium goes on for six months. that is going to be $180 billion that -- $180 million that couldn't are is --ry is going to absorb. and you know what they're going
to do? they'll go overseas. he's been talking to interests from australia, brazil, western africa and eastern africa already. he's considering the options very seriously. ke he can't afford to be paying $500,000 or $1 million a day as long as this moratorium goes on. it's going to have a devastating effect on our domestic production of energy. one of the great problems we have in america, something we should have fixed years ago is our dependence on foreign oil. we remember in 1979, when iran was taken over think ia toe la khomeini, i was a 16-year-old in houston, texas, my job was to take the car up, when it got down to about a quarter tank of gas, to take the car up, i loved it, sitting there, radio on, window down. now that i'm an adult, i
realize, what a disaster that was. and it's still out there today. we have serious challenges in the mideast. the -- mr. katani in iran is scary. trying to get a nuclear weapon. he was here in the united states at the united nations, sat down with george stephanopoulos, and literally, this is the leader of iran, told him that osama bin laden is here, in washington, d.c. they said osama bin laden is here in washington, d.c. this guy is trying to get some nuclear weapons, he's got oil, he's got friends out there, saudis and others, who will help him out. this administration has hurt our relationship with our great ally israel in 18 months, our relationship with israel has gone from being one of our
strongest allies to someone the world looks at and go, are the united states really with them? that's created another situation where countries out there will start taking chances and taking shots at our best friend. what happens at the end of the day if we stand up to israel? maybe we get another oil embargo. we can't afford that. yet this administration's actions by -- by imposing this six-month moratorium on deep water drilling in the gulf is going to help that cause. what we're doing here, as my colleagues mentioned, we introduced a bill yesterday, very simple bill, one page, half a page, it says, let's end the moratorium, mr. president. we have a meeting today with mr. salazar, secretary of the interior, came over today. one question i asked him, i asked him, do you believe you were given all the accurate analysis on the economic impact
of this moratorium on deep water drilling so that you made the decision and he stands up and says, it was his decision, that you knew all the fact, you knew that 150,000 americans were going to lose their jobs that those rigs in the gulf would most likely take their -- go overseas and start developing oil in foreign nations and they're not coming back any time soon. it's a minimum from what i've heard from people in my district, minimum of five years before those rigs will consider coming back because they've paid all that money to go over there. they'll sit there, make money, decrease our national reserve here's in america, increase our dependence on foreign oil. again, judge, leaders lead. what has the administration done? well, you know, as you talked about earlier, governor jindal asked for some sand. about 24 miles of sand to place in between some of the marsh lands that were going to be
impacted by the oil spill. took our government three weeks, three weeks to i a uff -- approve that why? why? well we had to do some study, environmental protection agency has to -- had to look and make sure if you put the sand in front of the werm, you weren't going to hurt the berms. you're going to hurt the wildlife and the berms if the oil gets in there. let's deal with that problem instead of the sure problem. amazing. the jones act. we've got great allies out there who want to help us, who have come to us and said, we can help you. what do we do? no, thanks, we've got a law that requires the unions to man the ships. we don't need your help. katrina, 2005, president bush, he was asked to waive the jones act he stepped up and did it. why? because it was right for america. he was focused on the problem,
which was help louisiana, new orleans, recover from that hurricane. the problem is real simple, judge. we've got oil spewing out of a hole in the gulf of mexico. we need to focus on that the administration is not focused on that. again, leaders lead. what do we see out of the white house today? coerce british petroleum to a $20 billion slush fund for government to use instead of -- as they see fit. b.p. has made some mistakes and the investigation is not complete but there's a lot of evidence and indications that they've made some mistakes, cut some corners, and did things that weren't consistent with standard operating procedure. they should pay for that. and they should reimburse the americans who have been affected by that. but for the government to force upon them a $20 million concession that the government is going to handle their money
as they see fit, we see what this administration has done when we give them large amounts of money. first big bill i had as a member of congress, almost $900 billion in an economic stimulus package. has it stimulated the economy like the president said it would? has it kept our job rate below 8%, our unemployment rate? no, we're hovering around 10%. what did we spend it on? you know the answer to that. 2/3 of the money has been spent on public sector jobs. 1/3 on private sector jobs. i submit, and this isn't taking much of a chance, that's not how you grow an economy. yet the administration is now co-sersed british petroleum to give them $20 billion to spend as they see fit. finally, i've got the president's speech right here, about the last third of it was, didn't have anything to do with the gulf of mexico. it had to do with a much bigger agenda. he was talking about why this
substantiated, justified, the administration's pursuit of a carbon tax, cap and tax, as we call it up here in the house. again, why are we talking about this when we've got oil spilling out of the gulf right now? the answer is, because think administration has an agenda that doesn't have anything to do with the oil coming out, it has everything to do with changing america, making us uncompetitive in the global market, increase the cost of energy for every american consumer and getting a big tax increase with all the allotments that small businesses across america will have to pay. it's frustrating. i go back home, what's going on in d.c.? who is leading? and the answer is nobody is leading right now. again, leaders lead. that's why i introduced that law to just repeal the moratorium. get the american people back working on the wells.
the president, as you recall, met this past week with the families, the families of the 11 workers killed in the explosion. and many of them told him, please, mr. president, don't do this moratorium. don't do this to my husband who, most of these people were born and raised in small towns in louisiana and oklahoma and they plan on living their life there, raising their children there, raising their grandchildren there. and they see what's at stake here. they don't want a moratorium, even though their family members have made the ultimate sacrifice. and it's my hope that the administration listens to the american people, looks at the numbers, the 150,000 jobs that are going to be lost, the, you know, just the fact that we're going to lose all of our -- most of our domestic production, offshore production of oil, we're going to take that overseas to foreign nations and one other thing is the second largest income tax source for the federal government is
offshore drilling. about $6 billion a year. bye-bye. and it's just incredibly frustrating as a freshman member of congress that we're going through this. we need to fight to make sure this moratorium is repealed. i yield back my time. mr. carter: reclaiming my time for a moment. i ask trent frank, who is an experienced offshore driller, as we all know, i said, what kind of salary do these guys make? he said, the ordinary labor, which in my day, we used to call those guys roust abouts, $60 an hour. and the high-tech guys, the guys that can drive a drill bit down 5,000 feet under the water and another -- multithousands of feet and hit a 12-inch hole where this oil's coming out of it, with that kind of skill, they're paid a lot more. now the question i would have
for the administration, if you take the drilling away and all of those people are looking for a job to replace that income, where is a guy who developed his skills to experience at a low pay job -- maybe he's got a high school education, and he learned his job on the job, where is he going to find $60 an hour to support his family on? mr. olson: will the gentleman yield? mr. carter: yes, i yield. mr. olson: i think the president gave us the answer to your question there. in his speech, this is what he said, i already have issued a six-month moratorium on deep water driling. i know this creates difficulties for the people who work on these rigs, but for the sake of safety, and for the sake of the entire region, we need to know the facts before we allow deep water drilling to continue. mr. carter: reclaiming my time.
we are also joined by my good friend, mr. gohmert, i'm going to let him come on for four minutes and have a little bit to say about this. you've got the last hour? all right. maybe you'll be talking about some of this yourself. there's a lot of things that the republicans -- we get accused of an awful lot of things around here. mr. blunt has a bill, the oil spill response and assistance act by mr. roy blunt of missouri, h.r. 5336, requires the secretary of energy to develop and deploy technology for the use in the event of a breach or explosion at or at a significant discharge of oil from a deep water port, offshore facility or tank vessel, including caps, fire proof booms, remooe operated submersibles, 24-hour response time, double liability limits for oil companies. mr. blunt is addressing the
issue. mr. schock has an offshore safety response. we have legislation, let's do our job and let's continue -- let's end that moratorium and continue to drill and be safe. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house the following enrolled bill. the clerk: h.r. 3951, an act to designate the facility of the united states postal service located at 2,000 louisiana avenue in new orleans, louisiana, as the roy rondinoer is post office building. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. gohmert, for 60 minutes. mr. gohmert: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to follow up on what my
friends were discussing because this oil spill is so important and when our colleagues across the aisle controlled the white house, senate, the house of representatives, the most we can do is use this honored place here to bring out some points so that hopefully america will respond, let their members of congress know what can be done, what should be done and why and then perhaps will get the appropriate action from the majority. but i know there have been a lot of people that have been perplexed over the president waiting for so long to sit down with the chairman of british petroleum, i know our president has said he's been involved and
been in control and been in charge since day one, we've heard that over and over. and i know my colleague, former judge carter, like me, maybe it's the judge in us, but even though the president has said he wasn't going to believe or -- i don't know, something like he wasn't going to be able to believe whatever he said, so he didn't even meet with him. well, as my fellow former judge knows, the best way to find out if you can believe him is bring him in. look him in the eye. ask him questions. find out if the answers are credible. find out by the questions you ask whether they make sense, whether they're conflicting and you find out whether you can trust somebody, just by getting them in and talking to them. to make the statement that, you know, or for whatever reason, whatever it was that you can't
trust what he said, he's going it make up -- get him in and talk to him, for heaven's sake. but i guess if you're used to convening police officers before you know the facts, as we know from court cases, the best indication of future activity is often past history. it needs to be -- rise to the level of being habit, but we're beginning to see a pattern develop here. but, many have wondered, why was the president easy on british petroleum for so very long? i know lately we talked about stuff, but, you know, it's over a month and a half later. so i was very interested in this article, apparently from "the washington examiners," a column
appears on wednesday. i'm just going to read the article because i find this very interesting and helped give me some insight into this relationship with british petroleum. but the article says, as british petroleum's deepwater horizon oil rig was sinking on april 22, senator john kerry, democratic, massachusetts, was on the phone with allies in his push for climate legislation. telling them he would soon rule out the senate climate bill with the support of the utility industry and three oil companies, including b.p., according to the to "the washington post" "post." let me explain here why this is called -- according to "washington post." let me explain to you why the called climate legislation. there was significant evidence to indicate that the global warming was not occurring.
the movement claiming it was actually admit there's been no evidence that the planet has been warming since 1995 and the evidence has been the last few years it's probably cooling. and i read an article in the wee hours this morning that south africa is getting the first snow in decades. so, anyway, but apparently the global warming movement realized this was a problem and i read another article sometime back around this time that indicated, you know what? we've been saying carbon dioxide trapped the warmth in, but it may be, since the planet maybe cooling, maybe it makes the sun's rays bounce off of the carbon dioxide so maybe co-2 is to blame for the cooling. so they realized that the planet's cooling and you want to blame co-2, you're going to have to change the name. because global warming doesn't work if the climate is actually
getting cooler. so, they started calling it climate legislation rather than global warming legislation. so that's why the referred to this way and that's why senators like senator kerry down the hall are referring to this climate legislation. but anyway, going back to the article, it saas, quote, kerry never got to have his photo op with b.p. chief executive, tony hayward, and other regulation friendly corporate chief tans. within days republican co-sponsor lindsay graham, a republican from south carolina, repudiated the bill, and democrats went back to the drawing board. but the kerry-british petroleum alliance for an energy bill that included a cap and trade scheme for bringing us gases pokes a hole in a favorite claim of obama and his allies in the media, that b.p.'s lobbyists
have fought fiercely to be left alone. lobbying records show that b.p. is no free market crusader, that instead a close friend of big government whenever it sews the company's bottom line. while b.p. has resisted some government intervention, it has lobbied for tax hikes, greenhouse gas restraints, the stimulus bill, the wall street bailout, the subsidies for oil pipelines, for solar panels, natural gas and biofuels. the article continues on, now, that b.p.'s oil rig has caused the biggest environmental disaster in american history, the left is pulling the same bogus trick it did with enron and a.i.g. whenever a company earns
universal ire, declare it the poster boy for the free market. as democrats fight to advance climate change policies, a.k.a. global warming when it's not warming, and back to the article, quote, they are resorting to the misleading tactics they used in their health care and finance report. posing as the scourges of the special interest and tarring reform opponents as the stuges of big business -- stooges of big business. expect b.p. to be public enemy number one in the climate debate. there's a problem. b.p. was a founding member of the u.s. climate action partnership, a lobby dedicated to passing a cap and trade bill. as the nation's largest producer of natural gas, b.p. saw many ways to profit from climate
legislation. notably by persuading congress to provide subsidies to coal fired power plants that switch to gas. in february, b.p. quit the united states climate action partnership without giving much of a reason beyond saying the company could lobby more effectively on its own than in a coalition that is increasingly dominated by power companies. they made out particularly well in the house's climate bill while natural gas producers suffered. but two months ago, i'm still reading from the article, two months ago, i'm sorry, two months later, b.p. signed off on kerry's senate climate bill. let me read that again. but two months later, b.p. signed off on kerry's senate climate bill which was hardly a cap louis concoction.